This Friday, a campus-wide scavenger hunt executed via social media will return to the University of Wisconsin for its second year.

Outreach Specialist of Visitor and Information Programs Nick Gonzales said the event, titled #FindUW, will have a narrower focus than last year’s hunt and will encompass the combined goals of promoting student services, teaching students about different facets of campus and familiarizing them with social media.

“Social media builds community and belonging, and demonstrates to students that all these campus organizations are invested in their success,” Gonzales said.

Unlike a typical scavenger hunt, #FindUW is unique in that it is primarily facilitated through social media, Gonzales said. He added social media has played an important role in the promotion, organization and execution of the #FindUW Scavenger Hunt.  

Returning students will also find that #FindUW offers the ability to discover parts of campus they have not had the chance to experience before, Gonzales said.

He also said students will have the chance to enter a drawing for prizes to be awarded later in the day Friday. Some of the big prizes promoted include a reserved study cage in Memorial Library, a reserved table in College Library for the fall semester, free massages from University Health Services and free transcripts.

The event is hosted by the Center for the First Year Experience and Visitor and Information Programs. The one-day event will begin at 10 a.m. and continue throughout the day, sending students to all corners of the UW campus to compete in the hunt, Gonzales said.

UW spokesperson John Lucas said the coordinators of the event are using the hunt as an opportunity to introduce students to the many different social media platforms the university employs.

“UW-Madison has a great reputation as an engaged campus in social media,” Lucas said.

Lucas said the university often uses Twitter as a tool to connect students, and those who follow either @UWMadison, @UWVIP or @UWNewstudent on Twitter will receive tweets containing clues intended to lead them to different locations on the campus. 

For those interested in participating, scavenger hunt clues will also be available at finduw.wisc.edu, according to a UW statement.

Each location will highlight a different resource the university has to offer its students, Lucas said.

Lucas said new students have been particularly targeted in the marketing of this event, and #FindUW is one of many activities occurring on campus that is intended to help new students navigate UW’s campus.

He added new students will be able to use the scavenger hunt to familiarize themselves with campus.

Through their participation in the hunt, students will also find many student services they have access to, but may not have used prior to the event.  

Lucas said several hundred students participated in the first #FindUW scavenger hunt last year and added that he is expecting to see just as many, if not more, students taking advantage of this year’s event after several other successful social media projects that took place last year recorded high numbers of participants.

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